Before we crested the false saddle, I thought I might have a heart attack after all. By the time I rounded the final switch back through the scree field, I was stopping every twenty feet to catch my breath and rest my legs.
I am a fatso. That’s the brutal truth. And Easy Pass isn’t so easy when you’re an obese schlep of a “hiker”.
Three point six unrelenting uphill miles from Highway 20, the trail also included some new scrambling across avalanche and stream channels due to, as a hot ranger said coming down the hill, a “massive rain event”. I’m a guy who starts to feel a little vertigo when you get me above the trees on steep slopes, so the fear of getting cut to shreds slipping off the side of the trail added to the potential drama of having to have my limp, placid corpse drug off the mountainside by a team of buffed twenty-olds on a search & rescue squad.
The view from the top was some of the best mountain scenery I’ve seen in Washington. Next year, I am healthier and thinner and this little hard hike will be but a distant memory of horror. It’s definitely recommended, though the loop at Maple Pass is easier and almost as pretty.
As far as the rest of Labor Day? We had no problem getting a spot at the cold-at-night Lone Fir campground, just below the east side of Washington Pass. I also finally got to take Victor into the Methow Valley, one of my favorite places in Washington. We’re heading back in February for some skiing, so he now has a frame of reference when I wax poetical about it.